Say No to Sponsored Posts

Thursday, December 4, 2008

I have decided to put an end to writing sponsored/ paid reviews. In fact, I had not been writing any paid posts for the past six months. I also recommend my readers/ other fellow bloggers to stop writing for payment. To start off, I have removed the affiliate links to paid posts site from my "Money Makers" list on the side bar.

Why "No" to Sponsored Posts?
I am not going against any particular company. But, generally, I lost interest in the paid posts arena. I had built up this site from scratch and went up to PR4. But, now it stands at PR0. But, you may ask, who cares about Google PR? Many of us, including me, have argued that we can survive without Google. Let us acknowledge, friends, it is not easy to get traffic without the help of the biggest search engine.

I had been ranking in the front page for many keywords, but Google slowly de-indexed me from the Search Engine Results. Now, I had to work hard for each and every visitor. Yes, I am still getting considerable traffic through other sources like Entrecard, BloggingZoom, myLot, and so on. But, I have to earn each visitor. To get a visitor from Entrecard, I have to drop a card. You cannot survive ever this way.

While I am still getting some money through affiliate links for sponsored posts site, I felt it is not right to sell something which I don't like myself. You might still see posts related to Smorty, PayPerPost and similar sites here. But, I will remove the affiliate links eventually so that no one goes through me.

Believe me, Google is All. If you want to survive in the blogging world, play by the rules of the biggest search engine. Otherwise, the chances are high that you will perish.

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eric/BlogDeManila December 5, 2008 at 12:19 AM  

I'm sure it was a hard decision on your part of not taking any other sponsored post anymore.

anyway, i wish you all the success for the new direction of your blog.

Manick December 5, 2008 at 12:25 AM  

Yes Eric. It was a tough decision to make. A huge source of income has been cut-off. But, I feel that I have made the right decision.

Angel Cuala December 5, 2008 at 6:02 PM  

I also used to make paid posts and promote them through my affiliate links during my blogspot days, but you're right it can reduce one's PR.

I used to be a member of EC, but decided to leave them after Graham has been strict in selling points. Plus the droppers are getting rampant, and my bounce rate is very high.

Now, I found another way to increase traffic and of course make money online. I am giving away a free e-book, courtesy of of one of the highly acclaimed Internet Marketers - Harvey Segal.

It's working for me now, although I have yet to monitor it further.

Free Money Maker December 6, 2008 at 9:31 AM  

Wish you best of luck manick.Yes traffic are more valuable than money which are always limited.Thanks dude.

techniqueal t. December 6, 2008 at 7:34 PM  

one quick question: what happened to google reconsideration request?

your blog is one of the greatest in the field. you certainly deserve a high PR on this. wish you luck!

Manick December 7, 2008 at 8:37 PM  

Angel Cuala: Thanks for your comments. It is true that Google is getting strict on all the sponsored reviews site. With no search engine traffic, I have to stay on with Entrecard and the likes to get some social traffic.

Free Money Maker: You know about me for quite some time now. Money is important. But if we cannot get consistent traffic, you cannot get money. So, I decided against short term benefits for long term positioning. Thanks.

Techniqueal: I appreciate your encouraging words. Thanks. I have not submitted this blog for Google reconsideration request yet. This post is actually the first step towards that. I need to do some clean-up here. I have to go through each and every post and remove paid links and links that could be suspected as paid links. So, I am not rushing into resubmission before everything is restored so that Google gets the confidence back in my blog. Thanks.

bingkee December 8, 2008 at 7:20 AM  

Then you should use a no-follow meta tag in all your pages so Google cannot index your sponsored links, in order not affect your PR.

Leon December 8, 2008 at 7:52 PM  

I'm glad you found out. Sorry it was the hard way though.

Anshul December 9, 2008 at 10:11 AM  

ya as it would be impossible to remove paid posts but you can use nofollow i think and remove this blog reviews section also. Google pr update is due i think will be on next year soon. So make it clean as fast as u can to submit it for reconsideration.

Manick December 9, 2008 at 8:59 PM  

Bingkee: Yes, I will include no-follow for links that Google may suspect as paid links. Thanks.

Leon: Yes, Leon. I hope it is not too late.

Anshul: I don't think Google likes it when you remove posts. The best way forward is to remove the links completely or include no-follow. I will try to do it as soon as possible. Thanks.

Apple December 11, 2008 at 5:23 AM  

I totally agree with what you said above. I lost my PR3 to PR0 since I involved in paid post from certain advertising companies. Last month, I have decided to grab back my PR and delete all my previous paid posts.

After applying for Google reconsideration, I got my PR3 back.

It's really a hard decision to make, but yes, Google is All. Wise decision made.

Manick December 11, 2008 at 10:37 PM  

Hi Apple,

I understand that you were in a similar situation before. So, you know how I feel. I am planning to submit for reconsideration soon. Thanks for your support.

Jena Isle December 13, 2008 at 4:39 AM  


From what I understand, you stopped writing for those paid reviews to get your google page rank back and when you get it back, you'll write again for them? If you don't write paid reviews eventually, are there other ways to earn aside from what Angel mentioned? Thanks for any info.

Jena Isle December 13, 2008 at 4:40 AM  

Because if you want to earn from blogging, writing for them is one easy way.

Mara December 14, 2008 at 8:37 PM  

I'm curious how SEO works. I, or at least my blog, doesn't appear on search engines that's why I'm stretching my patience with Entrecard and I have recently joined some site that pays per post.

Manick December 16, 2008 at 9:16 PM  

Jean Isle: No, I have stopped writing completely. I do not have any intention to resume paid writing again. The reason being that it is not worth losing your Page Rank and the substantial traffic from Google for few dollars.

I feel that advertising/ affiliate marketing on your blog is a better best way to make some money.

Mara: SEO is a vast topic and evolves everyday. All you have to do is choose a particular subject for your blog and write consistently. Writing about "almost everything" doesn't really help. By blogging that way, search engines will not feel that you are authoritative of any particular subject and hence they don't rank you. Another important feature of SEO is getting quality inbound links for your blog.

steve December 18, 2008 at 4:41 PM  

Good on you.

There is nothing worse than visiting a blog about say "make money online" niche and reading posts not relevant to the blog.

I have stopped dropping EC on these sites.

Manick December 24, 2008 at 6:38 AM  

Hi Steve,

Nice to hear your views on this topic. Browsing through Entrecard blogs, I sometimes get confused looking at similar posts about nice spectacles and the same picture appearing on most of the blogs.


Blogger Helper December 25, 2008 at 10:01 AM  

I can now see a huge inc in traffic in the recent past......can u share it how?

newbiesblogger December 27, 2008 at 4:40 AM  

Hmm, I agree with you, these day it's really hard to earn visitors, so we need search engine, but that the price we must pay is we write pay post....

maybe you can start new blog that just focus on pay post, but are they accept new blog or PR N/A. I think no.

Manick December 28, 2008 at 7:37 PM  

Blogger Helper: The increase in traffic recently is due to Entrecard and getting back search engine traffic from Google. Thanks.

NewbieBlogger: You are right, we need search engines for good traffic. In fact, as I said, I lost interest in the paid posts system. So, I will not be creating a blog just for that. They will accept blogs with no PR, but will pay very low for a review and the competition is too high to grab the opportunities.

anne January 1, 2009 at 8:57 PM  

i dont know what to say coz i got also a problem of ranking and pr's wahhhh it went back to zero since I change my url to my own domain grrrr

CarloBlogg January 3, 2009 at 2:53 AM  

"Google is All", wow. That's ok, You've earned your PR rank before, it just means that it's not impossible to earn it again ^__^
More power to your site! ^__^

Manick January 3, 2009 at 5:32 AM  

Anne: Don't worry. You will get Page Rank from Google in the next update. But, since it is a new domain, you have to establish your incoming links. You can put up a request to those who have linked to you before to point to the new domain name. That will help. Thanks.

CarloBlogg: Thanks for your encouraging words. I hope I can earn it again.

dickster1961 January 3, 2009 at 6:17 PM  

I only recently discovered the pay per post sites. I signed up for a couple of them, but have not written any. After reading your post, I may reconsider.

Manick January 4, 2009 at 6:13 AM  

Hi Dickster1961,

Paid reviews are for short term benefits. You build up your blog, get good Page Rank and then make as much money as possible before Google notices you.

But, if you want your blog to be established and you are interested in blogging for many, many years then do not consider sponsored reviews. They will kill your blog. Thanks.

Dragonblogger January 16, 2009 at 8:09 AM  

I admire your dedication to pure blogging, I would remove my sponsored posts or trim them down considerably if I had advertisers purchasing spots on my site instead. Eventually if I can make $300 per month from non-sponsored posts my goal is to remove sponsored posting from that blog.

So far sponsored posts account for 99% of my income, I barely eek out $30 per month in adsense.

But I have only been blogging for 4 months so lets see how I can do.

Manick January 17, 2009 at 8:26 PM  

Hi Dragonblogger,

I am not denying the fact that sponsored reviews bring in considerable amount of money. In fact, as you have said, probably close to 100% of the income may be from sponsored posts for new bloggers.

But, in the long run, it does not seem to be a valid money making option. The problem is losing Google's PR and the associated traffic from Google's search engine. Think about it. Thanks for your views.

vhingF March 17, 2009 at 1:36 PM  

my PR 2 was become ZERO but I never recieved any single cents from reviews I did before.....

so I stop reviewing...afterall no headaches!

derekengavin March 28, 2009 at 12:19 AM  

swell, i just starting to do paid reviews...and now, i have read you post, i think i will do the same thing..but, since your are well verse giving blogging tips, can you elaborate on me how to hit PR...because in my four months in blogging still my PR O..where should i start?

Manick March 29, 2009 at 5:49 AM  

Hi Derek,

If you have just started paid reviews, I would advise you to stop as soon as possible.

Google's PR depends on the number of incoming links and the quality of those links. So, start looking for ways to get links to your blog. If you can get links from blogs that already have a good PR, you will rank higher. But, don't worry about that now. Just try to get as many links as possible.

To rank better in Google's search engine results, you need to do the same. But, ensure the links are from blogs in the same niche. Also, get links with anchor text that best reflects your blog. The anchor text should be the main keyword for which you want to rank in Google.

Wishing you all the best.

Swapna April 19, 2009 at 8:53 AM  

That is true.. Google does whatever it wishes to maintain the quality of search engine results.

But we too do mistakes by selling our blog posts for few dollars or less than ten dollars. Remember, using adwords, we have to pay about 10 dollars just to get 100 visitors. But we give away a blog post that means we are sending as many visitors to that sponsored company as our blog gets over time. That can be as much as 300 visitors if your blog has a page rank of 2. For highly popular blogs (PR=4), that can mean 3000 visitors. That means we should get $300 right? for the work and sacrifice we are doing.

This is my conclusion after studying website traffic and its price in general and the way these payperpost websites cheat us to get huge targeted traffic to those companies. There is no point in sponsoring for under $10. Unless that ad gives us more than $100, it is not really worth the effort.

Manick June 18, 2009 at 5:56 PM  

Hi Swapna,

Good research. Your feedback is an eye opener. What is the point in losing your PR for a few dollars? Thanks.

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